A shoutout to responsible hiking

A shoutout to responsible hiking

OK, I do it all the time, but just to review some of the key rules for hiking (Courtesy of allcampgrounds.com. Most folks feel like there is a trade off between safety and enjoying the woods. The truth is that you can be safe and you will still feel untethered from modern society. It is the best of both worlds:

  1. Know your limits. If you are going to do something big work up to it, finding out your limits on the trail is not a good thing. I like to leave quite a bit in the tank when I go out.
  2. Let someone know where your are going, have a route, when you expect to be where and let them know when to call the relevant authorities. That is what is your latest date of arrival.
  3. Don’t hike alone. OK, many folks won’t be able to do this, but hiking alone is a problem. If you have to hike alone, at least have two means of communications. For me that means taking a satellite messenger or a PRB (personal rescue beacon). For most folks at $350 satellite messenger that weighs 3.5 ounces and where you can turn on a plan for $15 a month makes the most sense. The Garmin InReach Mini is pretty ideal. Yes it costs a lot, but with a 50 hour battery life and GPS, it is the ideal backup if you have to go alone. Having a keep alive note of where you will really help if you are in trouble.
  4. Respect nature (aka Murphy’s Law lives). You have to go out there expecting everything will go wrong. So that means, know where you are going and dress for worst case weather. Be able to stay warm and have water with you. It is not food, but lack of heat or water that is the real problem. There is a no old rule 4 minutes without air, 4 hours without heat, 4 days without water and 4 weeks without food. Yes your pack will be a bit heavier, but it’s all good training.
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